Posts Tagged correlation vs. cause and effect

Correlation Is Not Cause and Effect

The best story I have heard about the confusion between cause and effect was from my days as an economics major. The story that Frank Knight of the University of  Chicago told came from Alfred Radcliffe-Brown, a social anthropologist. Here’s how it goes:

Many years ago, a group of missionaries in the eastern part of Africa decided to teach the natives better farming methods. They concluded that the way to do it rapidly was to get a promising young man from each tribe, teach him the needed farming skills, and then send him back to practice the better methods, whereupon the entire tribe would follow the example.

One of the young men selected went back to his tribe in Portuguese, … >>>